Rapid Assessment and Ground Truthing of Habitat Composition and Analysis of Semi-Natural Habitat Diversity of Proposed Greenway Developments

  • Julien Carlier Institute of Technology Sligo, Sligo, County Sligo, Ireland
  • James Moran Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Old Dublin Rd, Galway, Ireland
Keywords: Greenways, Green Infrastructure, remote sensing, semi-natural habitat diversity, Google Street View


Across Europe, Greenways upcycle disused railway infrastructure into non-motorised public infrastructure, often with limited consideration to potential ecological synergies. Pre-development, disused transport corridors become relatively undisturbed and potentially host diverse semi-natural habitats. The study objectives were 1) to produce a highly detailed and accurate dataset using remote sensing with rapid assessment techniques for ground truthing and 2) subsequently examine habitat diversity existing along a proposed Greenway. A 7000 ha study corridor was based on a disused railway proposed as a transfrontier Greenway connecting the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. The study applied a rapid-assessment virtual validation techniquealongside remote sensing and accuracy assessment. Inter-relationship between seminatural habitat diversity and land-use intensification was examined. Remote sensing accuracies of 89% and 99% for a real and linear habitat classification were obtained. Degrees of land-use intensification were observed throughout the corridor, highlighting the importance of maintaining and enhancing remaining semi-natural habitat that exists along the proposed Greenway route. Through understanding the landscape matrix composition and semi-natural habitat diversity, European Greenwayscan achieve multi-functionality for ecosystem conservation, forming integral components of Green Infrastructure.


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How to Cite
Carlier, J.; Moran, J. Rapid Assessment and Ground Truthing of Habitat Composition and Analysis of Semi-Natural Habitat Diversity of Proposed Greenway Developments. LO 2019, 77, 1-18.
Research Article